The World of Music Mourns
A Reflection about a Man
and his Voice
By Ana Elsner
Luciano Pavarotti (October 12, 1935 – September 6, 2007), the world-famous Italian tenor, was one of the most charismatic, talented and celebrated vocal artists of opera stage and concert stage alike. Born in Modena, Italy, Pavarotti studied voice and gave unpaid recitals for several years before embarking on a professional singing career that proved to be of stellar proportions. In 1961 he made his opera debut as Rodolfo in 'La Boheme' in the footlights of a small regional Italian opera house.
Soon he debuted at the most distinguished opera houses of Europe and eventually became a beloved regular in the international world of opera and concert, garnering the affections of thousands of devoted fans.
His perfect pitch and the unique brilliance and deeply resonant beauty of his voice, reaching far into the upper register, earned him the title of "King of the High Cs" and made him one of the most successful recording stars.
Pavarotti, like no other, brought his signature arias and brilliant performances, previously limited to the trained ears of the opera crowd, to a far wider audience.
Hearing him sing, one cannot help but open one's heart to the man and his voice.
Beyond his fame as a tenor, he is noted and remembered as a humanitarian hero for his tireless charity work, raising millions for hunger, HIV/AIDS and refugee issues and for countless other charitable causes.
His legacy is and will always be larger than life.
Pavarotti passed away in the early morning hours of September 6, 2007, from pancreatic cancer. He is survived by his first and his second wife and by four daughters.
Pavarotti in his own words:
"I think an important quality that I have is that if you turn on the radio and hear somebody sing, you know it’s me. You don’t confuse my voice with another voice."
"I think a life in music is a life beautifully spent."
[See also: 'Luciano Pavarotti Is Dead at 71' by Bernard Holland of the NY Times]